The Camden County Historical Society has won a 2019 Grand Jury Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia for the Camden County Heritage Tourism Plan. This award will be presented at the 2019 Preservation Achievement Awards ceremony on June 5, 2019 in Philadelphia.
Each year the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia presents the Preservation Achievement Awards to a select group of individuals, organizations and businesses for projects from throughout the region which exemplify outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation. The awards honor projects involving the preservation or protection of historic resources including the restoration, rehabilitation and/or adaptive reuse of historic properties; sympathetic new additions to historic buildings; or education, documentation and advocacy work on behalf of preservation of our heritage.
The award this year to the Camden County Historical Society is for its Camden County Heritage Tourism Plan, a collaborative marketing effort of 48 historic sites and history organizations presented by the Camden County History Alliance. The major activity of the Heritage Tourism Plan was to plan, implement and promote the first ever Camden County History Week held from October 13 to 21, 2018. The nine (9) day event brought more than 1000 visitors to 32 sites open to the public, launched seven (7) thematic heritage trails, and positioned the Alliance to continue to grow heritage tourism in Camden County in the future by using the recommendations in the Heritage Tourism Plan.
The Historical Society worked with Preservation consultant Donna Ann Harris of Heritage Consulting Inc. of Philadelphia to create the Heritage Tourism Plan. Over the course of a year and a half, Ms. Harris wrote three successful grants to plan and implement the Camden County Heritage Tourism Plan, which included as its major activity Camden County History Week. Dr. Jack O’Byrne, the Executive Director of the Camden County Historical Society was also successful in obtaining grant funds for design and printing all the literature for Camden County History Week from the William T. Rohrer Foundation.
Camden County Heritage Tourism Plan
The Camden County Heritage Tourism Plan was supported by the New Jersey Historic Trust (NJHT) from 2017 to 2018 through three (3) grants awarded to the Camden County Historical Society (CCHS), the coordinator of the Camden County History Alliance (CCHA). The Camden County Historical Society’s work with the History Alliance is an outgrowth of the Historical Society’s longstanding leadership role in cultivating and encouraging local history organizations to educate their members and others by telling many different and compelling stories about our collective past. The Camden County Heritage Tourism Plan uses the Historical Society as the central fulcrum for joint marketing purposes. The Historical Society is staffed with part time personnel who manage the largest collection of county historical records, thus making it a logical place to begin or end any thematic heritage tour that links together the many historic sites and places in the county, one of the main goals of the Heritage Tourism Plan. The Historical Society has been an eager and enthusiastic partner to support the work of the Alliance through the creation and continued expansion of the Camden County Heritage Tourism Plan.
About the Camden County History Alliance
The Camden County History Alliance was established in February 2016 when 20 history organizations gathered to affirm their mission to identify resources, increase the number of visitors, and institute projects that promote Camden County heritage. From the first 20 organizations, the History Alliance has grown to be an association of 48 Camden County history organizations, historic sites, and support agencies that are working to promote their sites and our history to visitors near and far. Thirty six (36) of the organizations participate regularly in the Alliance’s bi-monthly meetings.
The Alliance’s working committees include Publications, Historic Markers and Heritage Tourism. The Publications Committee has already produced five (5) free 40-page, ad-sponsored, theme-based, historical magazines, each with a print run of 10,000. These handsome magazines have been distributed to the 48 partner organizations and at county offices, libraries, meeting spaces, businesses, and at public events. Eight (8) historic markers are in production and another 20 markers are planned for CCHA sites, funded through the Camden County Open Space grant program. The Camden County Heritage Tourism Plan is the largest activity undertaken by this young Alliance, with funding from four (4) grants that total $48,750.
The History Alliance will be continuing the Heritage Tourism initiative with Camden County History Month in October 2019. To expand on the Heritage Trails, the first Built in Camden County Day, highlighting the architectural heritage of the county, will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Information about all upcoming events can be seen at www.camdencountyhistoryalliance.com.
About the Camden County Historical Society
The Camden County Historical Society is the sponsor of the Camden County History Alliance. The Historical Society has been dedicated to the collection, preservation, study, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of life in Camden County and Southern New Jersey since 1899. The Historical Society manages a small campus of buildings in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden. The Society has maintained and restored the 1726 historic house museum Pomona Hall since 1924. Other campus buildings include the Charles S. Boyer building, which contains the Hineline Research Library and a handicapped accessible auditorium. As part of the campus, the Camden County Museum has been housed here since 1967. The African American History Room hosts changing exhibits since 2018, and plans are currently underway to open a Hispanic Heritage Room and a sculpture park/rain garden later this year.
About the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
The mission of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia is to actively promote the appreciation, protection, appropriate use, and development of the Philadelphia region’s historic buildings, communities, and landscapes. We are a membership-based, not-for-profit advocacy organization that shines a spotlight on the historic places that make the Philadelphia region special. The Alliance gives a voice and a toolbox to those who care deeply about protecting them for the future.
Tickets to the annual gala to be held on June 5, 2019 at Vie at 600 North Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19130 from 5:30 to 8:30PM are available from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, on their web site https://25017.blackbaudhosting.com/25017/2019-Preservation-Achievement-Awards or by calling 215.546.1146 x 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org.